- Kyoto University to Test Solar Array in Space (in 5-10 Years)
- 71% of Voters, Small Businesses Support Mandatory Carbon Pollution Cuts (Even 49% of Fox News Viewers Do!)
- 400-Megawatt Solar Farm Planned in Northern Florida
Posted: 29 Sep 2011 04:10 PM PDT
The idea of parking solar panels in orbit and letting them rain energy down upon Earth has been explored both in science fiction and in research laboratories for decades. Kyoto University announced this week that it took the first step in actually creating such a satellite, in its billion-yen test facility at Uji Campus.
While there are many stages in testing, only the final stage would involve the satellite. Solar panels well over 30 feet in diameter would open on the satellite once it reaches orbit, and transmit the energy harvested to Earth via microwave. If all goes according to plan, the satellite will be launched in 5-10 years. This year, the university is preparing for their initial tests – on the ground.
The microwave energy transmission facility for the first stage of the experiment completed at the university's Uji Campus (in Uji City, of course) is currently open to the public. According to the university, the main facility has a high power/durability absorber, an electromagnetic wave dark room, measurement equipment, etc. They plan to conduct the world's largest microwave energy transmission experiment in this facility.
During the experiment, microwaves of the same intensity that the satellite is expected to generate will be sent to a receiver antenna in the main facility. The microwaves will then be converted into usable electricity. The level of conversion efficiency is key to the experiment.
Regardless of the viability of a giant orbiting solar array (although it sounds awesome), wireless power transmission is a great idea with a lot of uses right here on Earth. Good luck, Kyoto University!
Source: Kankyo Business
Posted: 29 Sep 2011 03:54 PM PDT
Here’s a great post from our friends over at Climate Progress on a new poll showing, yet again, that the people support carbon pollution cuts, even mandatory cuts. Small businesses support such cuts, and even 49% of Fox viewers support such cuts!
by Joe Romm
This week, the League of Conservation Voters released polling by the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies demonstrating very strong support for EPA efforts to reduce global warming pollution. They found:
These results are consistent with over a dozen polls taken in the last 2 years (see Poll (6/11): Independents — and Even Republicans — are Still Concerned About Global Warming and Overwhelmingly Support Clean Energy Development and links below). Here's more detail:
Here's the chart on different levels of support for EPA global warming pollution standards for viewers of different networks:
As to the question of whether Fox News influences their viewers' views or whether people with those (conservative) views simply choose to watch Fox, the answer from the social science literature is "both" as I discussed in my debunking of Matt Nisbet's misanalysis.
Jon Krosnick of Stanford analyzes this in "Frequent Viewers of Fox News Are Less Likely to Accept Scientists' Views of Global Warming." Krosnick notes that his "Figure 1 shows how more exposure to Fox News was associated with less endorsement of the views of mainstream scientists about global warming," and says while he can't know for sure whether people were persuaded by Fox or selectively chose Fox:
Another study "Climate on Cable: The Effects of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC on Global Warming Beliefs and Perceptions," led by Feldman found that "the views of Republicans on climate change may be less solidified than Democrats, thereby making them more easily influenced by the content of cable news," specifically Fox News. Feldman's study itself explicitly says its findings are "suggestive of direct persuasion, whereby the views of conservative-Republicans are reflective of the cable news outlet they watch."
So two key papers find that the viewers of Fox News' biased climate coverage are less likely to accept scientists' views of global warming — and that direct persuasion appears to have played a role in shifting their views (see also "Foxgate: Leaked email reveals Fox News boss Bill Sammon ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science").
As for the polling on the views of small business owners, E&E News (subs. req'd) reports:
The public has consistently supported the need for controlling global warming pollution for years. Sadly, the White House remains clueless on this (see Polling Expert: Is Obama's Reluctance to Mention Climate Change Motivated by a False Assumption About Public Opinion?)
Posted: 29 Sep 2011 09:06 AM PDT
National Solar Power has announced it will build the Southeast's largest solar farm in Gadsden County, Florida. The planned 400-megawatt solar farm – a $1.5 billion investment – is expected to generate hundreds of new jobs in the renewable energy sector.
"Gadsden County was chosen for this significant project for many reasons, including its great year-round climate, strong community leadership, incredibly inviting regional support and the strong potential for future economic growth," said James Scrivener, National Solar Power CEO in a press announcement.
In a statement, Florida Governor Rick Scott welcomed the project to Florida: "It's great to see innovative companies like National Solar Power choose to make their headquarters in Florida."
After completing the local and state permitting, the firs phase of the project is expected to be operational within six months after ground is broken.
Hensel Phelps Construction Co. will design, build and operate the solar farms. National Solar Power estimates the project will create 400 jobs during the five-year construction phase with up to 120 permanent jobs.
A minimum of 20 farms will be built on 200-acre sites at a price tag of approximately $70 million each.
During a news conference, Scrivener outlined a partnership National Solar Power is establishing with Tallahassee Community College (TCC) to create a solar energy educational and training center at TCC's Gadsden County campus – featuring a 2 MW utility scale solar farm. This endeavor should help train potential employees for the project.
National Solar Power's planned 400-megawatt farm will be capable of providing enough renewable energy to power some 32,000 homes. The company has entered into an agreement with Progress Energy Florida and is having discussions with other potential customers who might purchase power generated by the solar farms. In total, the company expects to use 4,000 acres of property for the project.
"National Solar Power's decision to build a world-class solar facility in Gadsden County will be a tremendous benefit to the region," said David Gardner, executive director of the Gadsden County Chamber of Commerce. "The hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars the project will help to jump start our region's economy and help many in our community earn a new paycheck."
PHOTO: National Solar Power
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